LRTS v 21, no. 1, Winter 1977

Romanization Reexamined

C. Sumner Spalding

Present and likely future developments demand a critical reexamination of romanizatian in library cataloging. Romanization is asserted to be a problem-laden undertaking necessary for the universal author/title catalog but without other merit. Abandonment of the universal author/title concept is recommended in favor of separate catalogs according to writing system, with headings appropriate for the system. The universal subject catalog should be retained; systematic romanization is not required for this catalog.

PRECIS: the Preserved Context Index System

Derek Austin and Jeremy A. Digger

PRECIS: the Preserved Context Index System was originally developed by the British National Bibliography to provide subject index data for UK/MARC records, and to produce an alphabetical subject index for the national bibliography. The present potential of the system extends beyond these initial objectives.
The processes involved in index production are divided between the indexer and the computer: the former undertakes those tasks which require human judgments; the latter carries out clerical operations which are entirely mechanical.
Index entries in PRECIS have been planned with certain user cri¬teria in mind: in particular, comprehensibility and coextensiveness. Basic research suggested that these could be achieved if entries were constructed according to the principle of "context-dependency": that is, if each terns in the entry sets the next term into its obvious context. Entries constructed in this way are generated by a computer from input strings of terms and instruction codes written by the indexer. The rules governing the preparation of these strings comprise the syntax of PRECIS, and are embodied in a schema of role operators. Reference Indicator Numbers (RINs) are also appended to strings; these numbers lead to the extraction of appropriate See and See also references from a machine-held thesaurus. The creation and use of this thesaurus constitutes the semantic side of the system. In addition to its semantic and syntactic components, PRECIS has a facility, known as the Subject Indicator Number, which provides an economical means for dealing with "repeat" subjects.

FRBR: Coming Soon to Your Library?

Jennifer Bowen

The Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) data model holds great potential for improving access to library resources, but may not affect all libraries in the same way. The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR, assisted by the work of its Format Variation Working Group, is exploring ways to incorporate FRBR into the next edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules to facilitate collocation at the level of the FRBR entity expression. Several library system vendors are also adding FRBR-based functionality to their systems. A combination of these two approaches to FRBR can provide significant benefits to users. Most FRBR entities and attributes are already present in library catalog records, and the influence of FRBR can also be seen in existing library activities. FRBR is thus not something totally foreign, but a fresh, more rigorous way of thinking about what libraries already do that provides a basis for designing new ways to improve users’ access to library resources.

Rider Revisited: Speculations Derived from an Unused Classification

Arthur Maltby

The basic aims of Fremont Rider's International Classification are reexamined. It is argued that there is a difference between classification for bibliographies and catalogues, on the one hand, and classification for the arrangement of physical items on shelves, on the other, yet some systems try to meet both needs. The requirements for a shelf classification are examined and the hypothesis is offered that they cannot easily be met by a classification designed for catalogues and bibliographies. If distinct classifications are feasible the result might be greater efficiency and the narrowing of the gap between different modes of thought regarding library classification. Little-used systems, such as Rider's, ought to be tested as shelf classifications alongside acknowledged standard schemes.

Guidelines for the Formulation of Collection Development Policies

Collection Development Committee


AACR Chapter 6 as Adopted, Applied, and Assessed by Research Libraries

John D. Byrum, Jr. and D. Whitney Coe

In early 1975, the research library community was surveyed concerning its adoption, application, and assessment of the revision of chapter 6, "Separately Published Monographs," of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, North American Text (AACR). Responses reveal widespread acceptance of this publication and support of the introduction of changes to the AACR which are undertaken to incorporate International Standard Bibliographic Descriptions in the form of rules that are mandatory in their use. It should not be concluded, however, that revised chapter 6 has enjoyed uncritical acceptance by its followers; reactions to specific provisions, including locally developed substitutes for them, are indicated.

AACR 6 and the Corporate Mystique

Lois Mai Chan

The problem of entry for serial publications is reexamined in view of recent developments and proposals. A possible solution to the problem is suggested, which takes into consideration the compatibility between AACR and international standards for serials as well as the integrity of the catalog.

Education for Technical Services: One School's Response

Constance Rinehart

Technical services librarians, as well as educators, have an interest in the background given those who enter the profession at the beginning level. An elective course available to students at the University of Michigan is described.

Inventory of Monographs in a University Library

Vera Cunliffe

In 1972 and 1973 the University of Guelph Library used machine-readable files of its collections to take inventory. Computer-produced optically scannable documents were marked by a team of students. The resulting machine-readable files of missing books were run against circulation files and matching items eliminated. The operation involved no interruption of library services or routine. It was shown that the installation of a book detection system had reduced losses to .5 percent for the year.

An Approach to an Inventory of the Collections

Thomas L. Welch

Inventories of university library collections are rarely taken today. The California State Polytechnic University Library conducted an inventory of three of its collections containing 286,409 volumes. The method utilized in performing the inventory is described and some of the benefits of the inventory are identified. The inventory itself produced useful information and statistics for the Acquisitions, Catalog, Collection Development Services, Reference and Circulation Departments and provided considerable means for improving public services.